Do you know the 'Pina Colada' Song? It is actually called Escape and was an early 80's hit by Rupert Holmes. Basically, its about a man who's got the 'seven year itch' in his relationship with his wife and decides to respond to a personal ad in the paper. The lady in the ad sounds really interesting and he's captivated and decides to meet her. Who should it be...but his very own lady! Its a very cute story (setting aside the intention to commit infidelity of course). Check out the lyrics here.
Today at Chrysalis, e-Mom is linking us up with this topic for Marriage Monday:
OVERCOMING BOREDOM & APATHY
Tell us how you've exercised your God-given creativity to renew the intimacy and romance in your relationship.
I really look forward to reading what everyone has contributed...click on the link above to check it out.
My husband and I will celebrate 22 years of marriage in just under two weeks. We've been there and back and I can tell you that there is HOPE! First of all, like the couple in the song, you can re-connect and find that you have so much in common still. You could discover that, even though life has wrought changes to you both, underneath all of the layers, are the same two people who fell in love..you just have to coax them out a bit.
Let me tell you about my own 'Escape' story...
A couple of years ago, I had crossed over the 40 year milestone and was approaching another birthday and I felt depressed about how my life was looking. I was now middle-aged! I had made myself promises to do things, how I wanted my marriage to be etc and nothing was as I wanted it to be. I took stock of myself and realised that I had become absorbed with my role as mother and housewife. I had stopped seeing myself as a woman first and I felt that my husband, also, didn't see me as a woman so much as a mother and housewife. How could I change things? I wanted to FEEL, to DO, to have PASSION for my husband and PASSION for life again.
Well, friends, I decided to create my own version of 'Escape'...I wanted to escape from who I'd become and show my husband that underneath it all I was still a woman of passion and someone that he could fall in love with all over again. So what did I do? I PURSUED HIM!
I started writing him e-mails telling him what a wonderful man he is, how much more I wanted for us...saying via the internet what I couldn't say face to face. I realised that, throughout our marriage, I had failed to build him up. Our husbands need to know that we think that they are 'all that', that they're all-man, that we desire them. I thought he saw me as only his wife, the mother of his children, the housekeeper, chauffeur etc. He thought I saw him as the breadwinner, the one to fix things when they were broken etc. Neither of us had stepped over the barriers created by the drudgery of life to seize something bigger and better.
Suddenly we had stripped off the layers and were actually talking to each other...sharing dreams, desires, hopes. Our marriage came alive under this transformation...a slow one but a steady one. A brand new romance blossomed via the media. I would text him, e-mail him on a daily basis and he would do the same for me. Just like the couple in the song, we discovered that lots of things that we secretly dreamed about were shared fantasies or desires or hopes.
Over the next two years, the dynamic of our relationship changed drastically. We were communicating more, sharing more...oh we fought more in the beginning too as we began to reveal our true inner selves, but there was passion again...a passion for each other, a passion for life. I used to dream of a romantic husband and I gave up... thinking he didn't have it in him and he'd probably never have it. What a shame to waste all those years...boy does my husband have it in him! He has exceeded my wildest dreams of what a romantic man could be.
Ladies...you can do this too! Don't be afraid to try something new. Put some thought and care into stirring things up a little. Try a different perfume, buy a nice negligee (or pull out the ones you've hidden underneath all your practical underwear). Try something new in the bedroom. Men are essentially sexual creatures and as wives we need to acknowledge this part of their make up. If you're in doubt...ask him. It took a few tries before I discovered my husbands actual likes and dislikes and, I will admit, I felt a bit hurt when he didn't like something, but ultimately I love his new open and honest approach...neither of us is hiding our true feelings any more.
Take a good look in the mirror. If you have been neglecting yourself, remember that men are visual creatures and he will sit up and take notice if you do something nice for yourself. That first year, I coloured my hair and got a nice cut and the look on my husband's face was worth every cent that I paid! Or course, I know he loves me whether I'm dressed up or not, overweight or not, but it sends the message to him as well as ourselves that we are desirable when we work on it a little.
Communicate! Listen up...texting is not just for our teenagers! You have the technology...use it! I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling it is to get a text message saying that my husband is thinking about me in the middle of his busy day. I know that when I send him a word of love and encouragement it brightens his day too.
Spend time alone together. If you can afford it, take a weekend away from the children, the chores, the responsibilities. Recharge your batteries, inject some joie de vivre into your relationship. Even if you can only do this once or twice for the year, it will make a difference...trust me! I'm overdue for a getaway with my husband but I'm still fueled by the memories of our weekend away together for our 20th anniversary!
If this is not possible, just spend time alone together any way you can. I'm lucky in that my husband is a rare species of man..he enjoys shopping! We often use our 'grocery shopping time' as time to connect and talk without the children present. Its a standing joke that when Mom and Dad go to the grocery they take forever! (Its really because we shop around and read labels etc., but I don't argue because I really am enjoying time with my husband and he with me). Buy him a coffee in the mall, take a walk, a drive...anything...what's really important is that you are spending quality time alone and connecting, communicating, sharing.
Pray together! My husband and I kneel together in prayer every Sunday. We try to pray every night and every morning for a couple of minutes...lately its been really difficult since we're always tired. Prayer brings the Holy Spirit into your relationship as you invite Him, as you pray for each other and lift each other before the throne of God. Believe me...God must be the head of your marriage, at the very centre of it. When the Holy Spirit is present in your marriage, He works marvels. I'm always amazed at the spiritual bond my husband and I are slowly achieving. There are times when his words minister to me in a powerful way...in a way that only God could do.
Build each other up. Train yourself to stop focusing on the negative things that he does. Nothing can kill loving feelings more than that! Instead focus on the positive, the good things, the good memories, the good feelings. Sometimes love has to be cultivated because, let's face it...he drives you crazy sometimes and you do the same to him. Husbands and wives are very vulnerable to each other and it takes courage to open up. Be tender with his heart when he does.
Sacrifice a little. So you don't like fishing...sit with him anyway. Listen to him talk about things that you don't necessarily understand or have an interest in. When you can show him that you care about the things that make him happy, he feels the love and you'll get big rewards.
So does the mundane disappear? Does life become easy street? Do the blues go away? No..they don't...I'm sorry to say, BUT, they're a whole lot easier to bear now. With an open door of communication...we both now understand each other and who we have 'grown up' to be a little better. We can extend each other grace, cultivate our relationship and, most importantly, we have discovered that we still enjoy each other's company.